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Via Francigena

Mary-Lou Desmond

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
Hi
I’m planning to start the Via Francigena around 1May and would welcome any company or advice.
I won’t be able to do the whole thing but will just play it by ear.
I need a bag moved but it seems that you have to book accommodation to have a bag moved. Can anyone suggest a way to transport luggage without booking accommodation? I won’t need it every night, so was even thinking of mailing it. I know in Switzerland you can send it via the rail system.
I’d be grateful for any advice.
Many thanks
Mary-Lou
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
Can anyone suggest a way to transport luggage without booking accommodation?
Get someone else to carry it for you 😉
Or you could try to minimise kit to essentials and carry your own pack, over the years I've got my 22 litre pack down to 6.6kg. Interesting that you joined in 2016 and 4 years later this is your first post. I'm sure someone will be around shortly with a more helpful answer and envious of your planned journey, Buen Camino 🤠
 

Mary-Lou Desmond

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
Get someone else to carry it for you 😉
Or you could try to minimise kit to essentials and carry your own pack, over the years I've got my 22 litre pack down to 6.6kg. Interesting that you joined in 2016 and 4 years later this is your first post. I'm sure someone will be around shortly with a more helpful answer and envious of your planned journey, Buen Camino 🤠
Thanks for your response. I’m going to test a lighter pack before I leave, but have been advised to not carry too much due to a spinal issue.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
Thanks for your response. I’m going to test a lighter pack before I leave, but have been advised to not carry too much due to a spinal issue.
I understand and its surprising how light you can get your pack down too. Maybe worth conversation with your GP to determine whats a comfortable weight.
Might also be worth explaining a little more about your starting point and how many countries you intend to travel as this might have relevance to possible solution
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
I know in Switzerland you can send it via the rail system.

That is very useful to know as we've not seen this before. Is there a link?

As regards bag transport, it starts in Lucca. Before then the transport companies do not consider it economic to run a service so it will be taxis from Orsieres to Lucca - unless someone else comes up with an idea.

And as you say it you need to have accomodation booked so the companies can schedule you in. Or you can ask them to do both accomodation and transport.

Try Bags-Free.com
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
You could contact these guys

 

Mary-Lou Desmond

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
Thanks a lot for all your replies. I’m sorry but I don’t know the website because my friend told me about it, although I’m sure it’s easy to find.
I will also look at the Facebook group, although I’m not social media savvy🤓
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
For those that want to transfer luggage in Switzerland (If only I knew ....)

 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
For those that want to transfer luggage in Switzerland (If only I knew ....)

I haven't used this service for the VF or any other walks but I have used it on previous trips to Switzerland where I didn't want to lug a suitcase around.
You can absolutely rely on your item not only arriving, but arriving precisely on time. Switzerland is one of the very few countries where I would have confidence that my needed item would be there waiting...& it was, everytime.
If walking the VF through Switzerland, the only issue for @Mary-Lou Desmond may be the location of collection/drop-off points. Of course, you can always choose your own route to overcome this.
👣 🌏
 
Last edited:

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Hi
I’m planning to start the Via Francigena around 1May and would welcome any company or advice.
I won’t be able to do the whole thing but will just play it by ear.
I need a bag moved but it seems that you have to book accommodation to have a bag moved. Can anyone suggest a way to transport luggage without booking accommodation? I won’t need it every night, so was even thinking of mailing it. I know in Switzerland you can send it via the rail system.
I’d be grateful for any advice.
Many thanks
Mary-Lou
On no account try mailing in Italy! You could walk from Canterbury to Rome three times and the mail might just about get to its destination by then. Taxis? Expensive.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Hi
I’m planning to start the Via Francigena around 1May and would welcome any company or advice.
I won’t be able to do the whole thing but will just play it by ear.
I need a bag moved but it seems that you have to book accommodation to have a bag moved. Can anyone suggest a way to transport luggage without booking accommodation? I won’t need it every night, so was even thinking of mailing it. I know in Switzerland you can send it via the rail system.
I’d be grateful for any advice.
Many thanks
Mary-Lou
I have been researching the Via Francigena and to be honest, I have not come across any equivalent to Jacotrans. Dont think there are enough pilgrims on it to make it a viable business just now. Where by the way are you planning to start. The St Bernard Pass is not recommended that early in the year as there is still a lot of snow. June is the recommended earliest
 

julie

Active Member
Hi Mary-Lou, sorry, a few questions for you - where are you intending to start? how many days have you allowed? what is the maximum weight you want to carry?

As far as I'm aware, the only bag forwarding service on the Via Francigena is from Lucca-Rome. Perhaps the combined efforts of Forum members will enable you to reduce your pack to a weight that you will be able to carry.

I walked the Lucca-Rome section last year and found both the previously recommended website https://www.viefrancigene.org/en/ and Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/19899007360/ useful.

A couple of the Pilgrims in Sydney members are intending to walk the Via Francigena this year. Pop into a meeting if you have a chance.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Hi
I’m planning to start the Via Francigena around 1May and would welcome any company or advice.
I won’t be able to do the whole thing but will just play it by ear.
I need a bag moved but it seems that you have to book accommodation to have a bag moved. Can anyone suggest a way to transport luggage without booking accommodation? I won’t need it every night, so was even thinking of mailing it. I know in Switzerland you can send it via the rail system.
I’d be grateful for any advice.
Many thanks
Mary-Lou

Hi Mary-Lou Desmond,
I intend to do the same thing Canterbury to Rome, but I will carry my rucksack and like always it will be around 12 Kilo with water and the beauty is the not knowing what is around the corner and take every day as it come . If you read through my past intervention I listed all my problems included slip disk but the sack in some way has taken care off it. In the end you will go your pace.
The most important is to know if you really want to do it.
Enjoy!!!!!!!
Ernesto
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
Hi
I’m planning to start the Via Francigena around 1May and would welcome any company or advice.
I won’t be able to do the whole thing but will just play it by ear.
I need a bag moved but it seems that you have to book accommodation to have a bag moved. Can anyone suggest a way to transport luggage without booking accommodation? I won’t need it every night, so was even thinking of mailing it. I know in Switzerland you can send it via the rail system.
I’d be grateful for any advice.
Many thanks
Mary-Lou

A few comments

A. The Via Francigena is not like the Camino France until about Lucca. By this i mean the way is not always marked well and there is not a ton of housing option/ stoping point for each day. A lot of the stop points on the main route list are picked due to housing not because it is a great distance for walking.

B. Housing. The cheap hostels of Spain don't exist. Most of the housing has to be called the night before for booking as least.

C. What is in the bag that you need but don't need every night?
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
A few comments

A. The Via Francigena is not like the Camino France until about Lucca. By this i mean the way is not always marked well and there is not a ton of housing option/ stoping point for each day. A lot of the stop points on the main route list are picked due to housing not because it is a great distance for walking.

B. Housing. The cheap hostels of Spain don't exist. Most of the housing has to be called the night before for booking as least.

C. What is in the bag that you need but don't need every night?
that is not exactly true anymore. by all accounts I've heard and from what I've observed during walking last june-august the route is well waymarked throughout italy.
check the accommodation list in the resources (updated in august 2019) and you will see that there is just about enough budget accommodation for each stage, even in the more expensive aosta valley. you can sleep for about €15 almost every night and there are probably still more donativo ostellos then on the camino francés.
if I came across it, I've included info on luggage transfers in the accommodatin list. on the 'upper' part some hotels do one stage before and one stage ahead, so you can perhaps plan around that.

On no account try mailing in Italy! You could walk from Canterbury to Rome three times and the mail might just about get to its destination by then. Taxis? Expensive.
seconded. all my packages made it home but only about two-thirds of the postcards I sent.
 

debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
that is not exactly true anymore. by all accounts I've heard and from what I've observed during walking last june-august the route is well waymarked throughout italy.
check the accommodation list in the resources (updated in august 2019) and you will see that there is just about enough budget accommodation for each stage, even in the more expensive aosta valley. you can sleep for about €15 almost every night and there are probably still more donativo ostellos then on the camino francés.
if I came across it, I've included info on luggage transfers in the accommodatin list. on the 'upper' part some hotels do one stage before and one stage ahead, so you can perhaps plan around that.


Have you heard of better routing in France and England as well, they are were I had the worst routing. I remember Lucca was a large change in the quality of the routing markers but I could have started earlier and I don't remember it until Lucca. Lucca is also where I saw the big increase in the number of Pilgrims and the large increase in low cost accommodation. All in all I saw a large change in the route that stood out at Lucca, but you are right the change was for Italy, only the number pilgrims was for Lucca.

In France my favorite memories is the T intersection where all three direction including the one I entered on, had the symbol of the old man and an arrow with Roma printed below the arrow. Due to camping I had no battery on my GPS that day to check the right way. I would highly hope that intersection at least is fixed but the way was hard to find at times at other locations as wells. All pilgrims (3 walkers and 3 bikers) I meet in France had GPS's to make sure they were on the right way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
Have you heard of better routing in France and England as well, they are were I had the worst routing

Just a heads-up. The routing in the England is actually very good - but only if you follow the correct i.e. local signs. VF signs are rare but as the VF route is part of the North Downs Way, you follow the NDW route.


Example sign

 

Pilger Franz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Podiensis-Norte-Ingles-SdC; Francigena; Touron.; Bretagne; Lemovic.; Lana; Lusitana (Este)
I’m going to test a lighter pack before I leave, but have been advised to not carry too much due to a spinal issue.
H Mary-Lou,
when walking from Canterbury to Rome in 2015/2016 I met several pilgrims with a cart, the backpack attached to it. Since last year I use this device myself - very relieving. No more considerations for the weight!

On some parts of the way, eg on very narrow or steep paths etc., it will be difficult to use it. If so I try a) to take the backpack for a short distance on my back; the empty cart can be managed easily. b) to avoid them by taking the road, a bus etc.

BC
Franz
 

Carel5

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Mozarabe: Almeria - Merida
2018 Francigena: GSB - Massa
(2019) Francigena: Massa - Roma
For luggage transport, look at the Sloways website. I have no idea if they work only between Lucca and Rome, or include also other parts of Italy. In 2018 and 2019 I walked in two parts from Gran San Bernardo to Rome. The signposting is excellent. You can not get lost if you rely on signposting combined with the official Via Francigena App, or GPS data from the official Via Francigena site, which also has a lot of information on ostellos and other (more expensive) types of accomodation.
https://www.sloways.eu/luggage-transfer-via-francigena
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:

mikebet

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
At 14 or 15 euros per bag per stage that's a pretty pricey service. If you could get together a group of four or five walkers you could probably get a taxi and split the cost for bag delivery cheaper than that. An alternative method would be to designate one member of the group each day as the "designated bagman" and put that person on a bus to the daily destination with all the bags. Or -- what my partner and I are going to do -- pare down the weight of your burden to something tolerable.
 

Mary-Lou Desmond

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
At 14 or 15 euros per bag per stage that's a pretty pricey service. If you could get together a group of four or five walkers you could probably get a taxi and split the cost for bag delivery cheaper than that. An alternative method would be to designate one member of the group each day as the "designated bagman" and put that person on a bus to the daily destination with all the bags. Or -- what my partner and I are going to do -- pare down the weight of your burden to something tolerable.
OMG! Thank you all so much for your very detailed feedback! I lost the plot and didn’t follow the thread for a few days but am back on track and will carefully consider my options.
A friend told me that it’s possible to have luggage sent on the French rail system. I will post the details in case anyone is interested. But yes, do I really need it?
Thanks Julie, see you Saturday.
 

wjohnk

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugese Coastal (2019)
I haven't used this service for the VF or any other walks but I have used it on previous trips to Switzerland where I didn't want to lug a suitcase around.
You can absolutely rely on your item not only arriving, but arriving precisely on time. Switzerland is one of the very few countries where I would have confidence that my needed item would be there waiting...& it was, everytime.
If walking the VF through Switzerland, the only issue for @Mary-Lou Desmond may be the location of collection/drop-off points. Of course, you can always choose your own route to overcome this.
👣 🌏
The system in Switzerland also permits you to send to Post Offices - very useful when there is no railway station.
 

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